The rose revolution is gathering pace - and pink is the new prosecco, says Sam Wylie-Harris. Nothing signals summer like a gleaming glass of rose. And chances are, if you're a serious rose lover, you'll be dipping into a pretty pink palette come rain or shine.
Far from frivolous, Provencal pinks, with their pale assets, have been basking in the spotlight for some years now. But with a wealth of styles joining the glitzy line-up, quality at all price points, and supermarkets proffering a shimmering array of roses, there’s never been a better time to think pink.
There couldn’t be a more exciting time to quench our thirst for ‘barely there blush’, with a string of new releases blossoming onto the wine scene.
Sainsbury’s have a growing range of premium rose wines and Louise Lynch, product developer for beers, wines and spirits, notes it’s the style of choice for many customers over the summer months, with sales increasing by 30- 40% in hot weather.
Ready to paint the town pink? Here are six more refreshingly dry styles to embrace…
1. Exquisite Selection Sud de France Rose 2018, IGP Pays d’Oc, France (£5.99, Aldi)
It’s not new on the shelves, but in the hands of talented winemaker Jean-Claude Mas, this juicy, fruity, vibrant rose always tastes youthful and fun, with its pretty strawberry aromas and a flush of bright berry and cherry flavours offering an appealing, mouth-watering finish.
2. Rose Mediterranee 2018, France (reduced to £6 from £7 until July 3, SPAR stores from June 13)
At the softer end of the pink spectrum, SPAR’S new rose is a delicate style and offers faint florals with savoury, summer fruit flavours and a thread of fresh acidity. It’s not hugely concentrated but has a lovely, stony freshness if you want to drink in a Riviera lifestyle – and goes down a treat with a well garnished salad nicoise.
3. Cavit Terrazze della Luna Pinot Grigio Rosato 2018, Italy (currently reduced to £8.99 from £9.99, North and South Wines)
Here we have a pale, baby pink that’s fresh and fruity with a lovely roundness to the soft yellow apple and pear notes, with a smooth, silky palate and a ripe, crisp, finish. Very appealing and delicious as an aperitif, with shellfish, or shavings of Parmesan cheese as the winemaker suggests.
4. Cotes de Provence Saint Victoire Rose 2018, France (£12, Marks & Spencer stores, or by the case online)
A beautiful ballerina pink that’s suave and elegant with a bouquet of dried berries, floral accents and candied citrus fruits, plus cherry, plum and ripe citrus supported by moderate acidity. There’s an alluring silkiness that lets the flavours shine through.
5. Domaine Du Grand Cros, Le Grand Cros Rose 2018, AOP Cotes de Provence, France (£14.50, Berry Bros & Rudd)
Fragrant with aromas of freshly crushed berries and exotic fruits, a hint of mango lends a touch of richness to the fresh, round palate, with some herbal notes in the mix and a creamy note adding extra elegance with plenty of freshness on the finish. Brilliant with Provencal staples such as bouillabaisse (fish stew).
6. Fleur de Mer, Cotes de Provence Rose 2018, France (£16.50, The Bottle Club)
The nose has dainty floral aromas, leading to a textured, silky palate with white peach, cherry and the merest hint of watermelon, fresh herbal notes and a delicate mineral core followed by crisp acidity. Refreshingly delicious, Fleur de Mer looks good, tastes good, and makes you want to run to the lavender fields of Provence.